O'Brien, Zucker were Ivy League rivals
'Tonight' host, NBC exec ran Harvard newspapers in '80sIt may be worth noting, as Jeff Zucker and Conan O'Brien tangle over late-night programming choices: There's history between these two Ivy Leaguers.
In the 1980s, O'Brien was head of the Harvard Lampoon magazine at the same time Zucker ran the Harvard Crimson newspaper. And you don't have to strain too hard to hear a resonance of their campus rivalry in their current face-off over late-night programming decisions at NBC.
When last we left the combatants, the late-night host humorously rejected the NBC Universal chief's suggestion that O'Brien's "Tonight Show" move to a later time slot. That had some of Hollywood's many Harvard alums recalling the traditional animosities between Lampoon and Crimson staffs.
"Lampoon people spend a lot of time sitting around trying to figure out how to annoy Crimson people," a one-time Lampoon-er noted.
Even Wikipedia has an entry on the Harvard publishing shenanigans.
"The Crimson has a rivalry with the Harvard Lampoon, which it refers to in print as a 'semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine.' The two organizations occupy buildings within less than one block of each other; interaction between their staff has included pranks, vandalism, and even romance."
Of course, nobody is suggesting the current situation falls into any of those categories.